Author Guest Blogger

Strategies to Self-Pity Proof Your Writing Life

Today’s guest post is by Lori Stanley Roeleveld. She is a blogger, speaker, coach, and disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored four unsettling books, including The Art of Hard Conversations: Biblical Tools for the Tough Talks that Matter. She speaks her mind at and is represented by Bob Hostetler.


To persevere in the writing life, we’re wise to develop strategies against self-pity. Opportunities for it abound. Writing and connecting with readers is hard work. Rejection, setbacks, low sales, or criticism will periodically factor into our labors. As Christians, we also have an enemy who targets us when we’re down. Many talented writers have fallen prey to the paralysis of self-pity. So, prepare a plan.

  1. Remember the farmer. Farming is a calling, a lifestyle, a commitment. Farmers must know their business, secure the right tools, invest relentless effort, and pray. Still, there are a myriad of factors out of the farmer’s control that determine the success of any crop. Weather, pests, disease, fluctuations in the market, and changes in buyers’ tastes all impact farming’s bottom line. It’s the same for writers. Just as farmers can’t take it personally when there’s an early frost, neither can we when three more famous writers release books on our topic a month before ours. Writing’s not the only calling known for hardships and steep odds. Relish the challenge. Write anyway.
  2. Give disappointment its momentbut only that. Many jobs require one interview. Writers interview with every agent, publisher, reviewer, and reader. That’s reality. Rejections sting. Missing out on awards or contracts hurts. Bad reviews and sales dips are uncomfortable and frustrating. When facing a low moment, stop to lament what you’d hoped would happen. Acknowledge the loss. Experience grief. Quit writing. Give up. But set an alarm for an hour later when you will set the loss aside, open your laptop, and write again. (For big losses, take a day or so, but schedule the end of your lament by circling day three on your calendar.) Be accountable for this to a trusted friend who believes in your work. Unquit and begin again.
  3. Remember your life is also a story. Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith. We are each invited into His story, but we have our own thread. As writers, we know a story falls flat if no one struggles, no one overcomes hardship, no one rises up off the mat after a series of blows. Keep a timeline of your life divided into decades. Below the line, write important happenings, the ups-and-downs, the triumphs, and the follies. Above the line, record what God was doing, speaking, or teaching you during that period. Ask Him to show you what theme or greater story He is telling through you. Then, commit to live the greater story. Celebrate the ways He’s demonstrating His presence with you–through successes and failures. Keep hold of the long view. Look forward to the days in eternity when we share our stories and imagine yourself saying, “And that was the moment I nearly gave up, but . . .”

Ask veteran writers how they fight self-pity. Have your prayer team pray specifically against the temptation. Memorize Bible verses on perseverance. You’re not alone. Have a plan, and keep writing. What’s your strategy?

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Today’s guest writer is Carla Laureano. She is a two-time RITA® award-winning author of over a dozen books, spanning the genres of contemporary romance and Celtic fantasy. A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked in sales and marketing for more than a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write …

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by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Today’s guest blog is from Kim Vogel Sawyer a best-selling author whose books have topped the sales charts and won awards since 2005, when she left her elementary school teaching job to write full time. Her books have won the Carol Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Her stories are designed to offer hope and encouragement to her readers. Kim sees a correlation between the writing of a good story and God’s good plan for every life, and she hopes her stories encourage readers to seek God’s will in their own personal lives. Bestselling author Tracie Peterson says: “Kim Vogel Sawyer is an exceptional storyteller who is sure to please fans of historical fiction. Her attention to detail and love of God shines through.”

In addition to writing, Kim Vogel Sawyer is a popular speaker, freely sharing her testimony of God’s grace and healing-both physical and emotional-in her life. She and her husband Don reside in Hutchinson, Kansas, and have three daughters and four grandchildren. She is active in her church and loves singing, acting, playing handbells, quilting, and chocolate!


In 2002, as my health was crumbling to the point that full-time teaching was no longer a possibility and I didn’t know what I was going to do, my dad–feeling as though I needed a major lift–took it upon himself to make my publishing dream come true. He sent a story I’d written, titled A Seeking Heart, to Steve Laube, who, at the time, owned a self-publishing company called ACW Press. And Steve agreed to help me get it into print.

Thus began a journey beyond the scope of my wildest imaginings.

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Give Thanks to God

There is a verse in scripture which sets out in bold relief the great besetting problem of the human race. It is Romans 1:21: ‘for even though we knew God…we did not give thanks.’ Astonishing! How can we actually know God and not give thanks? Scarcely a day passes in which we are not deluged by at least a hundred instances of God’s goodness to us. Thanksgiving ought to be the most natural of human reflexes, as spontaneous as drawing breath.

Doubtless there are a plethora of reasons why we do not feel thankful. Perhaps business is stressful, or marriage is disappointing, or parenting is unfulfilling, or health is deteriorating, or school is unrewarding. Or maybe we simply take for granted God’s goodness to us.

How important it is, then, to rehearse frequently all that God does for us. Only then will an unending torrent of thanksgiving be unleashed from our hearts. Nowhere is God’s goodness more compellingly set out in His word. Immerse yourself in what follows, luxuriate in the story of God’s grace to you. . . and be thankful!


Who is like the Lord our God? Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who is enthroned above the vault of the earth . . . and who stretches out the heavens like a curtain. How majestic is His name . . . When we consider His heavens, the work of His fingers, the moon and the stars which He has ordained, what are we that He should take thought of us?

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